Monday, December 12, 2016

Changes Ahead at SKC for 2017!

We have had an amazing first year at SKC and expect 2017 to be even better; our members are incredible and we are excited about continued development and providing them with what they deserve - the best possible coaching, classes and environment possible.

So, on thing we will be doing in 2017 is phasing out our partnership with ClassPass to ensure that there are enough platforms and instructor attention available for members (PS we are very thankful to have met some awesome people through ClassPass.)

As we continue to grow, we're also preparing to cap our membership at 180 members. This is the maximum number of members we feel we will be able to serve at the highest level in this space.

If you or your friend is on the fence about joining Seattle Kettlebell Club, this is the time! We have several upcoming intro workshops on the calendar and membership rates will be increasing January 1st. (Existing members or new members who sign up in the next few weeks will be grandfathered in at the lower rate for 2017.)

If you have any questions, please contact us, swing by the club or visit our website at

Best regards, SKC

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

No Time to Exercise? Here's a Quick and Simple 5-Minute Single Kettlebell Workout

Kick-Start Your Day with a 5-Minute Single Kettlebell Workout

Here's a great example of the incredible efficiency kettlebells provide.  Try this full-body workout and see for yourself how quickly you can get your heart rate pumping and entire body engaged in only 5-minutes... because "something" is not only better than "nothing," it's actually productive.

TIP:  Keep track of how many reps you perform and try to beat your previous total each time you do the workout.  When you're performing them at max tempo (with great form, of course), it's time to get yourself a heavier kettlebell.

A quick video reference guide of these exercises is available at  

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Come for the Kettlebell Fitness, Stay for the Kettlebell Sport!

Most of the 22 members who represented Seattle Kettlebell Club on Saturday, September 24th at the 2016 IKFF NW Kettlebell Championship first came to SKC in search of a better alternative to the typical gym, having little-to-no previous experience with kettlebells and definitely no interest in competitive kettlebell lifting.  

Kettlebell Sport Class at Seattle Kettlebell Club
I absolutely love it when members lay down their disinterest in competing during one of their first visits to The Dacha (our nickname for the gym; it's a Russian term for a vacation home).  They have come to reap the rewards of the kettlebell swings and turkish getups they've heard about; they have yet to know more.

I am particularly fond of a memory from early August, 2015; it was right before I was leaving to compete at the OKC NorCal Open in Berkeley.  That's when Wendell Dyck (who came to us originally as a personal training client and is now dedicated to our sport classes) told me with fervor he was not competitive and would not compete.  Here's Wendell just over a year later, competing in 20 kilo biathlon at his 3rd competition, having even traveled to Canada to compete last May.  Judging by his face, turns out he really doesn't hate it ;-)

Wendell Dyck between sets at the 2016 IKFF NW Kettlebell Champs.  Ellie Taylor warms up in the background.
It's not really surprising that the people who found a kettlebell gym appealing in the first place keep an open mind and are provoked by challenge.  Before long, they find themselves surrounded by other members who are doing kettlebell jerks and snatches and thinking "I can do that.  I want to do that."  And while they still may never find themselves on a competition platform, now they're here to play... Kettlebell Sport class it is.

--Amber Puchlov
co-owner Seattle Kettlebell Club


 Come play with us!

Seattle Kettlebell Club - 817 Hiawatha Place S, Seattle WA 98144

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

5 Things You Should Know About Kettlebell Sport

#1.  Kettlebell Sport Exercises are Ballistic   
Ballistic means the weight is accelerated and released at some point during the exercise, or “lift.” There are hundreds of exercises you can do with a kettlebell, but the ballistic sport exercises - specifically the clean, snatch & jerk -  are the highest evolution of kettlebell training, the techniques having been honed thru competition over the past 70 years.

#2.  Kettlebell Sport Exercises are Unmatched in Efficiency
Low-impact, full-body strength, cardio and endurance at once; Seattle Kettlebell Club members have experienced noticeable improvement in these areas after only a few weeks of 3x/week visits as well as old shoulder, back, hip injuries, etc. improving or disappearing altogether after extended kettlebell training at SKC.

#3.  You'll Never "Max Out" in Kettlebell Sport
This is why you can do this whether you’re 10 or 70.  Now don't get me wrong; it's gonna get real.  But even at the peak of training, you’re using lighter weights for an extended period of time (up to 5 or 10 minutes or more) This way, you are building endurance and keeping your heart rate up during your entire workout, which doesn’t happen with the more common method of lifting barbells or dumbbells for less reps with higher-to-max weight.

#4.  Kettlebell Sport Exercises are Easy to Modify to Your Fitness Level
When SKC refers to classes as “advanced” they mean technically advanced, not that you have to be in great shape. Once you learn how to perform the ballistic lifts through a workshop or private coaching session, they are easy to modify to your fitness level by raising or lowering the weight of the kettlebells and/or the pace at which you perform the repetitions.

#5.  Kettlebell Sport Isn’t CrossFit
If you have used kettlebells in CrossFit, we're glad to hear it - that's great.  But be prepared that kettlebell sport emphasizes different, more nuanced technique and some different kettlebell exercises entirely than are often used in CrossFit.  In order to be able to perform long sets of kettlebell sport exercises, you will probably have to let go of some of what you learned about using kettlebells at your box.
For more details about kettlebell sport competitions and lifts,
visit our website.
2018 Top 5 Kettlebell Clubs in the World
Ranked by the World Association of Kettlebell Sport Clubs
in St. Petersburg, Russia

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

No Age Limit for Kettlebells: An Interview with Paul Klein

Q&A with Coach Paul

Coach Paul Klein first met Amber of Seattle Kettlebell Club through his theater network in the 90’s. (Did you know he and Amber are actors?!) His art background led him to a career in museum operations at the SAM until recently when he made the move to fitness.

Paul is happy to share his coaching talents with members of Seattle Kettlebell Club as a certified trainer and kettlebell sport instructor. As a 54-year-old athlete (Paul is heading south this weekend to compete at the 2016 Orange Kettlebell Club NorCal Open Kettlebell Championship), his hopes are to train more people in their 50’s as they work to move everyday and stay active.

How did you find kettlebells?

I didn’t go looking for kettlebells, kettlebells found me!

I first read about it 10 years or so ago in one of the men’s health magazines, and initially I thought it was another one of those buzzy fitness trends. But once I had some coaching from Nikolai [Seattle Kettlebell Club Founder], I really realized that I love working on strength, I love working on core stability and cardio respiratory fitness --and I also love the technical side of lifting.

Paul Doing His Best to Upstage Nikolai at the State BOLT Kettlebell Championship

Are there other sports that remind you of kettlebell sport?

I play ice hockey, and from the age of 6-21, I played baseball up to junior college as a catcher. I loved both sports, especially the social and team aspect of it. When I was younger, I loved the social aspect, but I hated the conditioning!

So as an adult athlete, I really wanted to indulge in something similar but find a more inspiring way to get stronger. --I wanted to get into fundamentals again.

Once I found kettlebell sport, and I learned the techniques of the jerk and the snatch, I realized that I could do this and get into it! It’s a dynamic relationship that you have with the kettlebells. The lifts aren’t just up and down --I could feel my muscles working, and my lungs, and my mind was just as active!

It reminded me of learning the technique
of a baseball swing, or goalie moves on the ice. 

What are the benefits of kettlebell in your life?

As a career, I feel more involved in my life as a coach. I’m taking better care of myself too, and at my age, I look forward to walking places! I think a lot of friends have hesitations about walking long distances, even if it’s from the Light Rail to the ballpark.

The world seems like a closer place for me,

with more options to get around.

Kettlebell has made me a better ice hockey player too! I usually play 2-4 times a month, but there was a stretch that I couldn’t get to the rink for almost 4 months. When I finally showed up, almost nothing had changed. I didn’t feel weak. I felt athletic, like I came to compete just like everyone else.

Overall, it makes me not dread things.

I think people my age start to look at that, and they are seeing their parents’ independence starting to evaporate. This gives me total independence to go ride my bike, go hiking, go to a baseball game and walk around the whole time. I’m 54, and 50 is the new 40!

Kettlebell sport exercise is totally scale-able, easy on joints and is absolutely packed with benefits for bodies of all ages. Coach Paul has private coaching availability and teaches kettlebell fitness, kettlebell sport and kettlebell technique classes to ages 12-70+ at Seattle Kettlebell Club on Monday and Wednesdays from 2-9p and some Saturdays and Sundays as well.  Schedule a private session or RSVP to a class online.


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Run Farther, Run Faster

Christeine Terry is all about personal challenges.  

Couple a personal challenge with an endurance event and you are speaking her language. 

I took some time to talk with Christeine about her experiences with running, kettlebell sport, and how they are symbiotic to each other.  

Christeine began running as a kid when she would run at the track with her dad during his workouts. In her teens and mid-twenties she stopped running to pursue other social and academic interests, but her desire for a personal challenge roped her back in and she set a goal to run a 5K before she turned 30.

So off she went, running on the treadmill for bits at a time - 30 seconds here, 1 minute there - until she started gaining momentum. Her first race was the Torchlight 5K. She was hooked; loved it!  She returned the following year for the Torchlight 8K. 

A half marathon in Oregon's wine country (her first) followed in 2011. Since then she has run 6 more half marathons. 

Her latest personal running challenge was to break 2 hours in a half marathon. Her best to date had been 2:08.  Leading up to the race, she trained an average of 4 sessions at Seattle Kettlebell Club plus 3 runs each week.   

Christeine reached her goal at the Seattle Rock n' Roll half marathon finishing in 1:56.!kettlebell-sport-intro-series/c8ml 

I asked a few more questions and here’s what she had to say.

ME: "What is your favorite running distance?"

CHRISTEINE: "The half marathon."

ME:  "What are your challenges as a runner?"  

CHRISTEINE:  "Trying to run slow on long runs, getting too hooked on pace, and adding stretching and mobility work to my training.” 
(To address these challenges she sought the support of other runners at SKC and she attended all the yoga and mobility classes SKC offers to make stretching and mobility fun.)
ME: "In what ways has kettlebell training carried over to your running?"

CHRISTEINE: "It has made me stronger, faster and more powerful, especially running hills. I noticed during the race that people dropped off at the hills and I was able to power up and keep pace. The breathing work in kettlebell training helped me find a breathing pattern to keep pace during my race."

ME:  "What do you love about running?"

CHRISTEINE: "I feel free. It's me, my breath, my music, and all that happened in the day just drops away. I find compassion for myself. It's challenging, and there is always something to work towards. There is a voice that says to quit, but in the end, I don’t.”

ME: "What do you love about kettlebell sport?"

CHRISTEINE: "Kettlebell sport is similar to running, in that there is always a challenge.  There is always something to work towards. I love that it is endurance weight lifting. It's a personal challenge, like running. I love the community because it is supportive and I love being around strong women – they’re inspiring!"

ME: "Where is your favorite place to run?"

CHRISTEINE: "Lake Washington Boulevard and the Arboretum."

ME:  "Would you recommend kettlebell training for other runners?"


ME: "What advice would you give other runners?"

CHRISTEINE: "I would say that kettlebell sport training specifically is good for running because it's also an endurance sport, but one that includes strength training. Also, the focus on breathing in kettlebell sport in order to be successful in long sets helps with breathing during running.  It's good practice."

ME: "What is on your fitness bucket list?"

CHRISTEINE: "Go to Kettlebell Worlds in February 2017 and lift the 16's, Crazy Monkey Kettlebell Competition, to beat my time in another half marathon, and then to finish a marathon."

With Christeine's hard work, determination and track record with exceeding personal challenges, I'd say her bucket list will get accomplished and then some!

by Allison Moore

Christeine Terry 2016


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Member Highlight: Cara Ely

Congratulations to Seattle Kettlebell Club member, competitor and new mom Cara Ely!  Baby Maxwell was born Monday, May 9th, 2016, about a week after this interview was recorded (and Cara's last kettlebell workout).

We know it's pretty easy to find reason not to get to the gym or stick with a program, which is why we were so inspired and impressed by Cara's careful dedication to staying fit and healthy through her entire pregnancy; even competing at 7 1/2 months along!

Thank you to this super-woman for sharing her story with us.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Kettlebells are Good News for Bad News Bears

I've always been Scrappy.

As a young boy I was the one challenging the bully or the bigger kids - even though I wasn't very big. I felt a certain amount of responsibility for the kids who did not have the confidence to stick up for themselves or were the ones who got picked last in sports. When it came time to choose teams,  I didn't mind choosing last because I was going to pick the underdog anyway.  For whatever reason, I had something to prove - and even if we didn't win I wanted to give the overconfident kids a run for their money - and we did!

Looking back, I see that for some reason I've always had a certain tenacity that works with the ability to find the winner in people and put them in a position to win.  Maybe it's because I felt a bit like an outsider myself; being a sort of latchkey kid... the son of a single dad and without a mom.  Whatever it is, I had it when I was little and it stuck with me as I started Seattle Kettlebell Club.   Like when people told me if I left the gym I was Personal Training at that I would never succeed... Thanks, Mike, you motivated me!

Kettlebell Classes

Now I get to meet people of all walks of life who want to start using kettlebells because they need to get in shape.  Often, I'll notice a new member might not have great posture, might have a weak handshake, might generally exhibit less than ideal confidence which is reflected in their physique.  I'll find out later they waited a long time or were really hesitant to join, which is funny because within a few weeks I'll already start to notice the difference.  He stands up straighter, acts more outgoing and seems generally happier while telling me the competitions seem cool but aren't his thing.  Cut to four or six months later when I can't get him to take training days off before his first competition.

These are not your typical athletes.  These are often the kids who got picked last or never even wanted to play, and here they are in their 30's and 40's getting in to something athletic for the first time in their lives and killing it.  Now they have the courage and skills to step up, and when they get on the platform, something amazing happens - they win!  Without fail, our members win!

Team Relay at SKC's BOLT Kettlebell Competition April 23rd, 2016
Roughly 90% of our members had never heard of kettlebell sport or even used a kettlebell when they joined Seattle Kettlebell Club, but close to 30% of our members have now participated in at least one competition, and 100% end up winning; because we set our goals accordingly and follow the plan.

The humbling aspect of the sport tends to attract people without big egos who are ready to listen and ready to work.  Which means we have a great community and have a lot of fun together and this is also a no BS gym. We don't have time or room for gimmicks.  Come on in.  You'll find functional equipment that makes you stronger and healthier surrounded by the proud underdogs-turned-athletes who appreciate that.

Seattle Kettlebell Club
Nikolai Puchlov